Ahead of the Union Budget, country's largest steel maker SAIL has said it expects the removal of clean energy cess on coking coal and reduction of import duty on metallurgical coal as the steel industry is reeling under high raw material costs pressure.
Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) Chairman PK Singh said in the upcoming budget the clean energy cess on coking coal should be withdrawn and the import duty on metallurgical coal should also become nil.
"We also expect reduction in railway freight for the steel industry in the upcoming budget and increase of spending on infrastructure sector," he said.
Singh said he also expects promotion of steel intensive infrastructure in order to increase the consumption of the alloy in the country. The Steel Ministry, in its recommendations to the Finance Ministry, has also sought to bring down the import duty on coking coal, an essential ingredient for steel production.
The import duty on coking coal is 2.5 per cent now. A Parliamentary committee had earlier suggested removal of 2.5 per cent duty on import of coking coal and scrapping of clean energy cess of Rs 400 a tonne, as these measures hinder competitiveness of domestic steel firms. The government will present the Union Budget 2017-18 on February 1.